Since the NASCAR Cup Series season-finale has been held at Phoenix Raceway, the driver crediting with starting from first has always been the driver hoisting the championship trophy at the end of the event.
Joey Logano and Team Penske are hoping that trend continues into Sunday’s race, as the Middletown, Connecticut native chases his second title at NASCAR’s top level.
Piloting the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang, Logano posted a time of 26.788 seconds (134.389mph) in the second and final round of Saturday’s qualifying session, Logano clinched his fourth pole of the year by three-thousandths of a second.
The 32-year-old was the leader of the four championship-eligible drivers in qualifying, with his next closest competition being Chase Elliott, who qualified his Hendrick Motorsports entry in fifth-place.
Alongside Logano on the front row for Sunday’s race will be Ryan Blaney, Logano’s teammate at Team Penske, with Chase Briscoe and Kyle Larson occupying the second row of the event.
Harrison Burton wrapped up his rookie campaign with a career-high sixth-place starting spot, with Kevin Harvick, William Byron, Cole Custer, and Ty Gibbs completing the top-10 in Saturday’s two-round qualifying session.
Christopher Bell, who had to notch a pair of walk-off victories at Charlotte’s ROVAL and Martinsville just to have a shot at the championship, will start the race from 17th.
The quickest car in Friday’s 50-minute practice session from Phoenix, Ross Chastain, turned in the worst qualifying effort of the four championship-eligible drivers, and will start Sunday’s 312-lap contest from 25th.
Qualifying Results: 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race